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The new Behringer X32 little brothers

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Oh, and this console is replacing two sister Midas consoles - a 56 input Midas Verona and 48 input Midas Sienna. If anyone is interested they are for sale.

 

Mark O.

 

You're kidding right, Mark?  Besides the SFF, snap recalls, motorfaders, and accessibility, IMO the Veronas and Siennas still hold their own ground.  A Heritage would still be considered the top in analogue world.  We have a 40-input Verona and that we're thinking of replacing with one of the X32 awhile back, but decided it was still a good investment to keep it chugging until it all fell apart.  Then, came the add'l A&H iLive in our other facility.

 

The Roland M200i is definitely a straight-forward dummyproof mixer and design.  Very simple and easy to use without much menu/layer jumpin'.

 

Up to this point of what is currently offered out in the market, one of the more popular and smaller variants from Yamaha, Soundcraft, and Presonus would still do a lot of heavy work on set.  One thing I never understood was why Avid/pre-Digi never took off with the whole production sound for entertainment.  They've literally gotten the entire industry into PT for post, almost, have a good share in the live world with their Venues and 48 consoles, and what other better way for them to gain market share would be to introduce smaller, refined digital consoles that have PT embedded within to record, stamp, and playback on set?  The ease of migration from prod to post would simplify a lot of workflows, even suggesting to the point of them going into the market of SoundDevices, Zaxcom, Fostex, Tascam, and etc. for field recorders.  I know, it's risky, especially when they're not known as well in this line of work.

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One thing I never understood was why Avid/pre-Digi never took off with the whole production sound for entertainment.  They've literally gotten the entire industry into PT for post, almost, have a good share in the live world with their Venues and 48 consoles, and what other better way for them to gain market share would be to introduce smaller, refined digital consoles that have PT embedded within to record, stamp, and playback on set?

 

This is very intriguing. I always thought the answer to this was that ProTools was always viewed as total over-kill, bloated software that everyone in post can certainly put up with (because ProTools is everywhere and it does get the job done), but it really was not suitable for on set production recording. If Digi (now Avid) would have produced software that was simple, task driven, stable and fairly bulletproof, something like Metacorder or BoomRecorder, and was able to overcome the lack of trust production people (rightly) had for ProTools on set, then they might have really had something. Possibly Avid is working on something like this but I doubt it. Since the latest versions of ProTools has provided much better compatibility with what we do with our recorders (Zaxcom, Sound Devices, Cantar, etc.) there is probably less motivation, from either side, to produce an Avid-ProTools branded production recording system.

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This is very intriguing. I always thought the answer to this was that ProTools was always viewed as total over-kill, bloated software that everyone in post can certainly put up with (because ProTools is everywhere and it does get the job done), but it really was not suitable for on set production recording. If Digi (now Avid) would have produced software that was simple, task driven, stable and fairly bulletproof, something like Metacorder or BoomRecorder, and was able to overcome the lack of trust production people (rightly) had for ProTools on set, then they might have really had something. Possibly Avid is working on something like this but I doubt it. Since the latest versions of ProTools has provided much better compatibility with what we do with our recorders (Zaxcom, Sound Devices, Cantar, etc.) there is probably less motivation, from either side, to produce an Avid-ProTools branded production recording system.

This is exactly my point.  PT is bloated to a certain extent when it comes to our application, thus, why not creating a more streamlined software similar to MC and BR for those easy 1, 2, 3 takes.  Should have could have done it many years ago.  By the look of things over there in the past 5-7 years, ugly.  Besides a more slimmed-down version of PT for production dialogue, or even simply stated field recording, an OTS field mixer/recorder with their own software talents embedded like the rest of the gang of SD, Zax, and everyone else that could easily migrate within "sessions to sessions", meaning production to post.  The music world has already been doing this for years using PT to capture and back to studio.  I think a simpler approach in filling in that kind of demand and "hole" would certainly see beneficial outcomes in the long run.  I'm not saying I'm all in for PT because I switch platforms from time to time depending on who/what I'm working with, but the flexibility given would easily translate to a more solid direction.  They make hardware, plugins, and software for both stage/live industry and the music prod/post industry, why not production in film/tv and fill the entire lineup?

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It's always the people at the top of a company that make decisions that guide a company. Perhaps those folks at Avid don't see enough revenue source in our market.

Jeff, what do you mean when you say that new versions of Pro Tools provide better compatibility with our production recording?

Mark O.

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You're kidding right, Mark? Besides the SFF, snap recalls, motorfaders, and accessibility, IMO the Veronas and Siennas still hold their own ground.

No, I'm not kidding. Analog consoles are going the way of the dinosaur. We paid $40,000 for both consoles 7 years ago, before the M7CL was even released. We're selling them for $10,000 now. They're big, heavy, and require two 16 space racks of outboard processing. They don't have any kind of scene capability, fully parametric eq, DCAs (VCAs), onboard effects and graphic eq, ...

The list goes on and on. Basically, I don't want to be stuck with boat anchors of little value. The sale of the outboard gear alone paid for half of the X32.

I like analog, but digital make more sense.

Mark O.

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I don't think that Avid or Yamaha or even Behringer is blind--they look at all the markets and decide what to do about them.  Usually the answer about the movie production sound market is that we're too small, too cranky and too demanding a customer group to make the numbers those big companies want to see.  I don't think a "field" PT is a great idea anymore--ie a recorder.  We have Boom Recorder, an excellent purpose-made app programmed by a guy has has been hyper responsive to this market, and still the group has voted with its feet for hardware combo recorder-mixers pretty much.  They just seem to suit the typical soundie's mind and methods better for the jobs they need to do.  I don't see that changing.  If the location soundie's jobs get more complex than those rigs can handle, then I think they'll be getting complex enough to demand the features a digital console can provide, but this console still has to observe the needs of a location mixer.  It's expensive to make a complex console small, light and power efficient enough for real world location use--most mixers with more than 8 inputs are the wrong shape for a cart!   This is why the 01v96 seems to have no competition--no one else has made a digital mixer that works as well for location sound, and this has been the case for some years now.   I think it might be up to Yamaha to make a "super 01v" that was a recorder as well as a mixer--you know they could do it tomorrow if they wanted to.   But software-based recorders do not seem to be in ascendance these days.

 

philp

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Any mixer with Dante, Reac, Ethersound can provide all the inputs to a computer by the ethernet port, no more hardware involved, just a driver (some free). With a battery powered mixer and a laptop you can work with your favorite multitrack software.

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Hi Guys,

 

Apologies for this long thread.  In the spirit of providing a service to this community I wanted to clear up a few misconceptions about the X32 and our company in general that have been discussed on this forum.

 

Before I get into a detailed review, allow me to say that the X32 is a very different product from the competitor models you mention. That is the case for a few very fundamental reasons that transcend mere features; the reasons are bigger than that. For starters, the X32 is a very modern platform that has been engineered around the best and latest components. We’re using some of the best Analog Device DSP’s and Cirrus Logic AD/DA converters as well as Mabuchi motors which you also find in Penny & Giles faders.  

 

We Build Our Products in Our Own Factory

The second fundamental difference has to do with how these consoles are manufactured; the X32 is made by us, in our factory, using parts that we purchase directly from the component manufacturers. Now the difference between building it ourselves and having it made by a third party contract manufacturer may seem trivial to some, but let me assure you that reality is much different. When we build a product we control quality and we control cost; and those two factors constitute real, tangible value.

 

I cannot speak for any of our competitors but somehow I think they would all like to enjoy the benefits of manufacturing their own products, if they could. When we build an X32 we put it through hundreds of tests before it ships. We test the parts as they come in the door, we test the subassemblies, we test the assembled units and we keep meticulous logs of every circuit board and how it fared through testing. We would never consider putting such critical tests in the hands of others, no matter who the contract manufacturer may be.

 

3-Year Warranty Program

When you purchase and register your X32 (or any other BEHRINGER product) you participate in a full 3-Year Warranty Program and we will stand behind you and your X32. Not only are we here to support you in the event of an issue, but as you can see our Care and Product Specialist teams have been proactively engaging users on forums, Facebook, Twitter and everywhere else that you communicate to make your experience truly exceptional.

 

We Have Invested in CARE Centers in the US and UK

We have invested in two highly sophisticated CARE centers in Las Vegas and Kidderminster, UK which serve as service centers and spare part depots. If you find time, we would like to invite you and we will be more than happy to tour you around. We have learned from our previous experiences and made Service and Spare Parts a core focus. While we are not perfect, I hope you have seen over the past months that we have made great progress and we are determined to offer the very best customer support in the industry. Check out more details on our CARE centers here:

http://www.behringer.com/news/music-group-aims-for-best-in-class-care-operations/

 

Why Some “Defects” are Not Defects

With the X32 we put unprecedented value and functionality into the hands of customers which often come from the analog world. While the mixer has a very intuitive workflow and short learning curve, it is expected that there is some form of learning required, especially as we offer the functionality of high-end digital consoles for a fraction of our competitors’ prices. As a consequence, we sometimes receive defect reports that are traced to user errors and simple misunderstandings, while the console is in perfect condition. Upon explanation, the issue is quickly resolved, but in reality the unit was never defective.

 

We have also received a few consoles where customers complain about defective faders or broken pot knobs. On inspection we have found liquid that was spilled into the faders, broken encoders where the shafts have been sheared off and other damage that is clearly caused by improper handling, impact and that age-old issue of spilled drinks in the bar. Of course such defects are not caused by us as a manufacturer.

 

We have also seen posts in forums where a customer will complain about defects and when we follow up, we get no response or feedback about serial numbers. Sadly we have now a strong suspicion that some of our competitors post “fake” messages to cause uncertainty. This is disappointing as we believe companies should compete on the merits of their products and service, not with deceitful practices.

 

How Do We Test Our Products?

This brings us to the central element here – how do we test the units at the factory to ensure they leave in perfect condition? Coincidentally, we have been working on a video that follows the whole manufacturing process behind the X32 so that users can see how their consoles are made. It is fascinating to watch the whole process, as this is the most advanced and thoroughly-tested product we have ever made under the BEHRINGER brand.

 

Not surprisingly, the very same manufacturing equipment, processes and quality assurance methods as used on MIDAS products are also applied to the X32. In fact some of our most senior MIDAS UK engineers have relocated to our factory in order to best supervise the build and test processes not only of MIDAS consoles but the X32 as well. The team doesn’t get much more experienced or capable than this and I am extremely proud of their work. I have posted a clip from the QA process here:

 

What you don’t see in this video is the work that takes place before final assembly testing. Each component that goes into an X32 is tested; not just samples, but each and every component. Sub-assemblies are tested through In-Circuit Testers and the results measured, with only those that pass all tests finding their way into the console.

 

We invest several hours in the testing of every X32 long before it gets to the stage shown in the video clip. But even at that point we invest the time to check every input, every output, every control and every switch. We measure noise, THD, frequency response and every other parameter supported by our highly sophisticated Audio Precision test stations.

 

Why Testing is Much More Economic Than Repair

It is critical to understand that anything is less costly than returning a unit for repair. Returning, repairing or exchanging a unit is ALWAYS more expensive than avoiding problems from the start.

It is common knowledge in manufacturing that the higher your production volume gets, the more the risk increases as one single component defect can cause tremendous damage. You see this in the car industry where recalls often affect millions of cars.

 

It is also a myth to believe that alleged usage of sub-par components and skipping of testing would be a cost saving. In fact it is exactly the opposite.

Any defect in the field is more expensive than preventing it from the start and hence our huge investment in people, high-end production equipment and quality control.

 

Why the X32 Has Become the Most Successful Digital Console on the Market

We brought the X32 to market at a price that is not only attractive to users, but a real threat to competitors. We are able to set this price because of our extreme vertical integration, the fact we buy parts for, in some cases, over 70% less than our competitors and the fact that we own the factory and don’t pay profits to contract manufacturers. So, how much would the X32 have cost if it were made by another brand – perhaps $10,000?

 

We believe the X32 brings massive value to the end user/consumer. The X32 product range has grown to an entire audio ecosystem of expanding and interchangeable products including X32, X32 Compact, X32 Producer, X32 Rack, X32 Core, S16 and P16.  All products work together seamlessly via AES50 and ULTRANET using standard CAT5 wire. 

 

When we launched the X32 we made a commitment to evolve the platform with software, feature and hardware enhancements. We also made a commitment to offer software updates and new features at no cost to existing owners of X32. In the 6 months since launch this commitment has seen us launch several new software applications such as the full-featured XiControl for iPad, XiQ for iPhone and iPod Touch and XControl for PC, Mac and Linux. There are lots more enhancements coming, and with the X32’s processing power and internal architecture you’ll see that this is an ever-evolving product.

 

Thank You.

Recently, we attended the annual NAMM show where we were humbled once again with recognition from the industry for our many new products and especially the X32.

 

Among the many accolades we were awarded the coveted Reader’s Choice Award by ProSoundWeb.com, recognized as a finalist for a TEC Award and even received the “Best in Show” Award from Pro Sound News and Pro Audio Review for the new X32 Series.

What we are most proud of however are the many, many stories we heard from dealers and users of how much they love the X32.

 

We feel that the X32 is the ultimate expression of the very principle on which Uli Behringer founded our company 24 years ago; to deliver the very best product at the lowest possible cost.

In our Company we have a lot of respect for the engineers and product specialists that create products for all our MUSIC Group brands. Ours is camaraderie of like-minded people who alternate places with the hot product of the day and generally admire each other’s work even as we compete in the marketplace. I appreciate that each brand and indeed product model can have a following, and people can see the benefits of those products as they fit their own particular application.

 

The X32 is already shaking the industry to its core and frankly within the shortest period of time, the X32 has become the best-selling digital console in the industry; and the trend is even going upwards.

 

Most important, rest assured that when you buy an X32 we will ensure that it becomes a great experience and we will stand behind you. Always.

 

Best regards

 

Joe Sanborn

Manager, Channel Marketing

MUSIC Group

BEHRINGER

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Joe, nice of you to chime in. Could you chime on this particular topic; will the X32 be able to be DC powered, I.e via batteries of any kind? If so, this machine would be very attractive to production audio EDIT: (on the low budget side, that is)

 

Just finished reading the gearslutz thread on this machine. Mixed reviews indeed. Maybe not a production recording mixer after all... For instance the producer mixer really only has 8 channel mixer strips, while the other 8 are output busses, so that makes it useless for mixing more than 8 channels at a time.. Am I right Joe?

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" I dont even know why Behringer would be a subject or topic on this forum "

because they bought and now own and operate Klark-Teknic and Midas

and (it is great to read from Joe Sanborn )the directions that his group is taking on quality, higher end products.

 

" why not production in film/tv and fill the entire lineup? "

Thank you Phil: " I don't think that Avid or Yamaha or even Behringer is blind--they look at all the markets and decide what to do about them.  Usually the answer about the movie production sound market is that we're too small, too cranky and too demanding a customer group to make the numbers those big companies want to see. "

especially too small.

" Perhaps those folks at Avid don't see enough revenue source in our market. "

to justify the costs required

 

" will the X32 be able to be DC powered, I.e via batteries of any kind? "

as a practical matter: I really doubt it.  (just as the Yamaha's)...

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The Roland M-200i mixer looks pretty terrific (it may be brand new, some may have seen it at NAMM show). Certainly the size and weight are acceptable (for those who might think about using Yamaha O1v). They seem to have provided an iPad interface/controller that is very well thought out and can be hard wired or used wirelessly. One thing I have not been able to determine is power requirement: the specs state 3.6 amp current and there is a "DC connector" on the back next to the power switch. It would be great if this mixer is actually DC powerable.

 

attachicon.gifM-200i_sm.jpg

 

It looks like it's only one rail on the connector though, that already makes it easier than the Allen and Heath Mixwiz

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We had a demo at Coffey Sound of the Roland M-200i and it is a really good panel, easy and intuitive to use, well made with tons of features. The powering is from a Roland outboard power supply that is putting out 24 vdc @ 3.5 amps. I have asked the Roland people if there is a possibility of a mod to allow for powering from a lower voltage DC source (typically, 11 vdc to 18 vdc). We'll see what happens. 24 vdc native is still preferable to 12 vdc > inverter > AC routine that people using the Yamaha have to do.

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Joe, nice of you to chime in. Could you chime on this particular topic; will the X32 be able to be DC powered, I.e via batteries of any kind? If so, this machine would be very attractive to production audio EDIT: (on the low budget side, that is)

 

Just finished reading the gearslutz thread on this machine. Mixed reviews indeed. Maybe not a production recording mixer after all... For instance the producer mixer really only has 8 channel mixer strips, while the other 8 are output busses, so that makes it useless for mixing more than 8 channels at a time.. Am I right Joe?

 

 

Hi Olle,

 

I will have to check with our developers to see if this is doable with a 3rd party DC power supply.

 

In regards to number of channels all of the X32 consoles use 'layers" for the input and output faders.  For instance the X32 has 16 input faders, Layer 1 = inputs 1-16, Layer 2 = inputs 17 - 32, Layer 3 is the Auxiliary inputs and FX returns by default.  On the new X32 Compact and X32 Producer you have 8 input faders, Layer 1 - input 1-8, Layer 2 = input 9-16, etc.

 

X32 Producer I/O:

16 MIDAS Designed Preamps

8 XLR outputs

6 1/4" TRS Auxiliary ins and outs (Auxiliary 5/6 also have RCA)

2 - AES50 ports (48 in x48 out)

1 - ULTRANET port, (16 ch - for P16 personal monitor system)

32x32 Firewire/USB card included

2 - 1/4" TRS Monitor Outputs

1 - XLR Talkback Mic in

MIDI in and out

USB port (for 2 track recorder/playback, preset save/load, and Firmware updates)

 

I hope it helps.

 

Best Regards,

Joe Sanborn
Manager, Channel Marketing
MUSIC Group
BEHRINGER

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Joe, how about its usability as a small DAW controller? Your lit says it'll do Mackie Control emulation... but are the equalizer and other controls mappable?

 

(Also... am i right that there aren't any transport controls?)

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Joe, how about its usability as a small DAW controller? Your lit says it'll do Mackie Control emulation... but are the equalizer and other controls mappable?

 

(Also... am i right that there aren't any transport controls?)

 

Hi Jay,

 

DAW Control is featured on the 8 bus faders on the right side of the X32. In addition to faders, the dedicated Mute,  Solo, and select buttons, Metering, and LCD Scribble Strips would work with the DAW. There is not a dedicated transport, however, you can use the ASSIGN section of the console for this purpose. You can assign controls such as Play, Stop, Rew, FF, Bank Left, Bank Right, etc to ASSIGN buttons, and JOG wheel / Channel pans to the encoders. You could also set the ASSIGN to continuous midi controllers and use your DAW's learn mode to assign encoders and buttons to plugins, I have tried this with Logic Pro.

 

I hope it helps.

 

Best Regards,
Joe Sanborn
Manager, Channel Marketing
MUSIC Group
BEHRINGER

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On 3/11/2013 at 0:57 AM, Olle Sjostrom said:

Joe, nice of you to chime in. Could you chime on this particular topic; will the X32 be able to be DC powered, I.e via batteries of any kind? If so, this machine would be very attractive to production audio EDIT: (on the low budget side, that is)

Sorry, is a really old thread, but just curious as to if anyone is using theirs battery powered now?

Especially their newer Behringer X18 interests me, would be very interested to see anyone's battery powered set up with that. 

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I don't use my X-32 producer often in the field. But it performs quite well when I do. Compared to the Presonus and QSC that I sometimes use, the X-32 is a joy. the iPad software is especially good.

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